There was high drama in the 37th over of the New Zealand innings as India, desperately looking for a breakthrough, came close to a wicket, but were denied. Blame K L Rahul’s fielding at short-leg, and his helmet.
Ravindra Jadeja took his mark to bowl to New Zealand opener Tom Latham. The left-arm spinner bowled it full outside the batsman’s off stump, and the opener, who has swept confidently throughout his innings so far, went for the shot again. He got an inside-edge on this occasion and the ball hit his foot before popping up in the air.
Rahul, stationed at the close-in catching position, juggled but the ball popped out to make contact with the helmet grill/strap (not clear by the replays). That meant not out as the ball made contact with fielding gear and the third umpire was sure about the helmet coming into play.
As per the rule book, no external protective gear can come into play while taking the catch. In case the helmet is lying on the field, it’s considered as an extra fielder and if the ball makes contact with it, five extra runs are granted to the batting team.
It hasn’t been a good day on the field for the hosts as they have struggled to keep the visitors under check. After adding only 27 runs to their overnight total, they tasted success early when Umesh Yadav trapped Martin Guptill in front.
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Since then, it has been New Zealand all the way as the visitors have remained solid with Kane Williamson-Tom Latham stand. Both have hit individual fifties in the process and have wiped off most of India’s runs.
India need a special effort in the remainder of the day to take a lead – which could be crucial on turning tracks – over New Zealand.